tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 31, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EST
.olitical landscape in 45 minutes, look at the top stories of 2013 and the decline of the middle class a little past 50 years. >> good morning everyone. welcome to the "washington journal" on this new year's eve. as the it comes to closely want to get your take this morning on the top news stories of 2013. those new health care plans will kick in, or the 16 day shutdown. benghazi and the congressional investigation that havewed or is it what we learned from the nsa leaker edward snowden about the agencies surveillance program. we want to hear from you this
morning. our top stories for 2013. 26% said it was the 2010 implementation and overhaul of health care in general, eight percent said it was the death of nelson mandela and another eight percent was the federal government's budget troubles. six or sent that it was a national debate over gun laws and mass shootings and four was the boston marathon bombing. that the the top five
that they have obamacare right now. lily, what do you think about his agenda, his congressional agenda, what he wants to see past, legislation in 2014. should he be accommodating or confrontational? caller: i think the immigrations should go through. he is trying to do work for the people. i don't understand why his approval rating is so low. he is for the people. the republicans are not for the people. they never have been and never will. we are listening, lillian. caller: that's all i have to say. host: are i'd let me move on to ahmed in virginia. democratic caller, go ahead. caller: i do see the health care issue go forward for the people.
everybody gets care. , what edward snowden, why you left the country and why he is telling all these things. what is hurting america are helping america, i would like to sell these things. thank you. host: denny, independent caller, top to you think is the news story for 2013? caller: i think the snowden things, the spying on americans and the loss of our rights under a long and protracted war that our founding fathers warned us against that we would lose our rights in a long a protected work. here we are and i'm hoping everyone will wake up and not let our liberty slide anymore. host: what you think should happen in 2014 on that issue? caller: i think everyone who voted to keep the patriot act
should be kicked out of office. host: there've been proposals about the patrick leahy. he has teamed up with jim sensenbrenner, a republican from wisconsin. yes, i think they're disgust ofare of the the american people for that think anyone who voted to renew the patriot act is unpatriotic. and should be voted out of office. host: what do you think the president should say on it? his reached to make and talk about recommendations. what you want to hear from them? caller: i want to hear his total rejection of it. ofis not a democratic way governing people. constitutional scholar you should know this. i have been waiting for him, i'm
the ones that disapprove on him because of this issue. i've been waiting for him to make a turnaround in stand up for democratic leaves. on a facebook page here are a couple of comments. here is president obama back in november accepting blame for the health care website. >> i understand why folks are frustrated. i would be, too. look at what is taking place in washington and they say not enough is getting
done that helps me with my life. you know, regardless of what congress does, ultimately i am the president of the united states and expect me to do something about it. so in terms of how i intend to going to keep'm on working as hard as i can around the priorities that the american people care about. and i think it is legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general. that is on me. we fumbled the rollout on this health care law. int: president obama back november accepting blame for healthcare.gov. is that your top news story of the year? that is our question for all of you this morning on this december 31st, but he 13.
-- december 31, 2013. tweet from house speaker john boehner and what he had to say about the affordable care act. the speaker saying you can see the different tweets and the new debates that will be happening in 2014 as we close out onto 13 here on the "washington journal." susan in sarasota florida, an independent caller. susan, what do you think? what is the top story of the year? regardless of what story receive the most income i think that snowden's disclosure should be the top story of the year. i think that the health care act
has its quirks and it has its problems, but it is an effort to improve the country and the country's health care system. but the nsa surveillance and what it means to all americans is overwhelming. i don't know how they will ever get a hold of it. it is like there is an underground government that has been operating without any oversight and we have seen the tip of the iceberg and i don't know how we can take care goal iceberg. that is the top different perspective on our society story of the year as far as i am concerned. susan fromthat is sarasota, florida. independent caller saying that it is edward snowden and the leaks of an essay surveillance program as the story of the year. ryan in new orleans, democratic caller. what do you think, ryan? caller: i think that president obama is the story of the year
.ecause he came with obamacare i think he is the story of the isr and i think the south the worst of the year. the people of the south are the worst, that is all i have to say. thank you very much. go to coleman in tulsa, oklahoma, a republican caller. caller: what is being exposed as a global warming hoax. freezing, the epa and obama administration is moving forward with a lawless tack on carbon. we couldn't live without carbon. plants can survive without co2. it is all based on a great deal of ignorance that is not reported by the media in the co2 and using of
carbon as fuel. basis where costs are going to go up. sort of like in pagan times people would sacrifice the most orutiful maiden to a climate global or volcano god. now we are sacrificing our standard of living to an attack on carbon and global warming god which is false. oscar,ll right, cleveland, ohio, democratic caller. my top story is just i think it is a shame that the republicans have done what they have done. they have not done anything to try to help our president. he was elected twice. that should tell everybody something.
i think the republicans should be voted out. everything that our president has tried to do, they have fought against it. medicare, immigration, all of that. what is wrong with our republican zach are thought they were supposed to be a free country year. it is just not right for them to keep doing our president this way, disrespecting him. they didn't do to another president like that. they're only doing it because he is black. it is a shame. host: front pages of the "wall woods says the winners of the boring investors of 2013.
m, roseville, michigan. democratic caller. high, mike. caller: i feel that o obamacare is a big issue. equally as important, i feel that what was in the media but should have been, i feel was a fact that congress pass a law that they couldn't profit from the information that they received and the hearings that they held. happened withhat martha stewart. they tried to get her for what .he was doing
for the average people to do insider trading, why would it ever have been a law passed for that to happen in congress? texas.ector in edinburg, what is the top story of 2013? think president obama's redline turned out to be a puff of smoke. host: are you talking about syria? caller: host: yes. thank you so much. what you think it will come back to be a big story? caller: people will realize that united states threats will not
have much meaning to it anymore and other countries will not think much of it. host: speaking of foreign policy , afghanistan is on the front page of the "wall street the picture they have. children staying in the snow outside of the shelter in kabul. the headline on the story is massachusetts, republican caller, high, brian. caller: mine is snowden. can't believe that the government is snooping on
everybody like that. it is just ridiculous. i thought we were a free country. that is not a free country. that, a show on c-span2 about a week ago on trade, it said that china wants to buy 200 planes from boeing but they are going to start making the planes there. all our companies want to get into china because they're buying up everything. they're willing to sell this country down the tubes. company wantll his to sell stuff area to make it here. dorothy in pine bluff, arkansas. caller: i think the worst thing that happened to us was a government shutdown because when i look at the number of families , real american families that are already struggling and being
they were shut down and inconvenience for 16 days, i don't see how any american can ever vote republican. those republicans are not for families. they crush families and i think it is very hurting and i think obama is trying to help families . that is how i separate it as a retired educator having seen so many children suffer and try to go to school. many of them not getting much help and also now my niece is starting to teach and she is totally frustrated with what is happening in the schools. i think that when you work against families you work against america. host: all right, dorothy. and theyork times." "washington times" are squaring off over what they believe othered in benghazi and
your pic for a news story of the year. claude in ledbetter, texas. high, claude. go ahead. caller: i'm thinking the cover- up of benghazi and the coverups our targets and nsa spying would probably be the stories of the year. now the investigation seem to go nowhere. whenever they do think they found somebody that may be culpable, nothing ever happens to them.
that ouring probably congress has not been able to get to the bottom of these problems. host: all right, claude. we will go to robert next from los angeles, a republican caller. i think the best news story of 2013 is the hacking of our computers nationwide all the way up to the pentagon. spurs fromms our vices being manufactured in foreign countries. at will get worse if we the american people don't stand up and say that we want to be secure. it seems like these politicians are just working for the companies and most of these companies who are manufacturing these devices do not even have residence here. most of these corporations don't
care at all they want is cheap labor. havoc on american people with identity theft and spying. even informs may lands were not friendly to us. you take him home to your office and their beacons. they can grab any information that they want. i think hacking is most important to this country. systemw our information that we use every day for our banking and everything is very bad. that needs to be dealt with. host: all right, robert. here is an e-mail from one of our viewers.
mark in maine, democratic caller. high, mark, what do you think i think ther: biggest story is a affordable care act. there are a lot of stories but that is the big issue. can't -- something this big is not going to work right away. medicare years ago, they had problems at that and they never thought that was going to work. it is come to a point now a day where there are some people that don't have it because of these .re-existing conditions every american citizen should have some type of health insurance. way -- we are putting men on the moon and done all kinds of things. there's no reason we can't come to a resolution between both parties and make this work. i think the worst thing that is going on i don't want to say
this is shutdown that occurred, thathe extreme differences have erupted from the parties. we have got to come together as a country. it is just going too far right. you have to have a balance in between. we have to come together and put our differences aside and what is best for this country. host: so, mark, what do think the president should do? do think you should be accommodating or confrontational with the republicans over the budget issue? done upi think he has to now, even now he has tried we aredes --host: listening, mark. caller: i think he is trying to be accommodating, but it has taken him all this time to get this far. he has really been up against the wall. his first term, i felt bad for the guy.
he really, i really and truly believe he wants to do what he can for the people. we have got them together. host: let's show our viewers what house speaker boehner had talking about 12 the government shutdown. >> frankly i just think that they have lost all credibility. they pushed us into this place to defund obamacare and shut down the government. know, that wasn't exactly the strategy that i had in mind. if you will recall, the day before the government reopened, one of the people from these groups stood up and said well, we never really thought it would work. are you kidding me? ! you all know me, right? mean mean and i
mean when i say. i'm as conservative as anyone around this place. donehe things that we have over three years that i've been anyker have not violated conservative principle, not once. host: there was this bigger the house on december 12 before they left washington to go back to their districts for the holiday season talking about the government shutdown and the role that conservative groups played in that. was that your top story of that year yucca that is our question for all of you this morning. we will keep taking your phone calls. but first, in other news, on those russian bombings, the "wall street journal." their headline reads
we're talking about your topics for the new story of the year. jim in minneapolis, an independent caller, hey, jim, what do you think? i basically wanted to talk about benghazi and the cover-up. al qaeda definitely played a role in going in there and manipulating certain groups to go in and attack heard it might not have been a high-ranking al qaeda, but they definitely had an effect in that area. for us to sit by for several hours during a firefight and not come to the rescue is pathetic. to leave them high and dry is the most -- to have no common
ability whatsoever is just the most ridiculous thing. every time something like that breaks, mr. obama or slick as i call him, he goes out and hopes that after certain. of time the american public will just let it wash away and forget about it, which seems to be the atlosophy of the government the point whenever it messes up. there's no accountability. the irs scandal, there is no accountability for them taking an election ruling it your way , beingure the government able to shut down certain groups. both of those two stores are pretty scary. our government, the direction that they're taking is scary. it is not the way this country should be run. host: all right, jim, you mention accountability. many of your member generally in january of 2013,
while secretary of state hillary clinton testified, she responded to gop senator ron johnson's assertion that the obama administration to liberally misled the american public regarding those attacks in benghazi. here it is. that theremisled were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that, and assault sprang out of that. that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact. american people could've known that within days. they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, we had four dead americans, whether it was a protester guys out on a walk when i do decide to kill americans. at this point, what difference does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. host: then secretary of state 2013on back in january
testifying about what happened at benghazi. is that your top story of the year? lori on twitter says this dakota, aouth republican caller. dylan, what do think? caller: i'm a disabled veteran from vietnam. how can you trust a government that sprayed us with agent i'm going to give you to my wife. ptsd husband has severe and he fought 43 years for his
service connected. the sad thing about it is that the backsveterans on of the shutdown and then while they're out there on the shut down for 16 days they are voting on this mouse is. i think benghazi, the economy, the irs and nsa surveilling us, what you think these drones are going to do? he wanted to do that last year in 2011 and he said no to it because he will kill us. i do not trust president obama. i think he is an evil man with evil intent, just like on the news, it shows that he has had five years very he cannot get a get done. he cannot get the economy gun. he is greedy, he's selfish and so is his woman. you mention veterans benefits. that is a story on the front page of the "the washington post." we will go to ted in new york,
that the commotion in the middle east is a distraction from the benghazi,of the year, nsa, all distractions. that couple that called previously sounded bitter, angry, hateful there is the sounded like they may be struggling. rather than thinking about income inequality, this gap between -- the gulf, the distance between the superrich in this country and the poor and , instead of poor focusing on income inequality, which is tied into this system of campaign contributions, wealthy corporations, control over our government, this citizens united and corporations as people, that their energy is focused towards behaved of our who is really hard-
working, successful and decent guy. i think the big story for our captry is this unbelievable between the haves and have-nots. i hear a lot of callers calling in to c-span talking about trade , talking about jobs overseas in china and it is all tied into this income gap, campaign contribution system, citizens united and i hope that we change things. all right, ted. " usa today"s, the also, a second official healthcare.gov.
the new york times reporting that the number two official at the centers for medicare and medicaid services who supervised the troubled rollout of president obama's health-care law is retiring. michelle snyder is the agency's chief operating officer. stepping down, retiring after seeing the rollout of healthcare.gov. that in the new york times this morning. and then the "wall street piece thatas his president obama's mortgage program is starting to pan out.
what is your top pick for new story of the year? vincent, detroit, michigan. independent caller. caller: happy new year. i think the biggest story of the year is he edward snowden case decide you have to whether you agree or disagree. who is edward snowden and how to see have access to very sensitive information. how did he have access to this information?
carol, a democratic caller. high, carol. it is hard to know where to begin. what really irks me is when you hear the republicans wanting to come after social security and that is going to be their big thing that they are going to hold over the democrats had. entitlementll it an , it is not an entitlement. our families have paid into that . my husband, for one, paid into it for 50 years. steel companya that was literally put out of business because of nafta, because of them dumping chinese steel into our country. then you have the republican up there and saying they're coming after social security, medicare. they lie about obamacare. they won't even give it a chance to get started.
nothing has ever been started the thingoff perfectly. it takes time to start these things. you just can't do it every night. -- you just can't do it overnight. our present is really doing things to help the american people where the republicans are standing still and not doing anything. we are paying their wages and they are not doing nothing. if my husband worked the way they worked, he would never have made 50 years in the mail. i guarantee you that. host: all right, carol. on the target security breach, a couple senators, senator mark warner and one of them am a senator menendez of new jersey, others are asking the senate banking committee to hold a hearing on what happened with the target corporation and the security breaches of peoples identities. senator mark warner tweeting out that he is asking for hearing on that. roy in cambridge, massachusetts,
independent caller. hi, roy. caller: the greatest new story is the tension between the statists and the people who want to protect liberty and individual freedoms. and the nsaacare scandal are part of the same story. thateople on both sides want to promote more government control and people that want to protect individual freedom. ok, so you what you want to happen on that issue? liberty andpport individual freedom. i'm opposed to state government and they have proven they can't do anything at all well except protect the nation. that is what it was set up for to protect national security. everything else is not belong in the federal government. host: re:, right. richard, maryland caller. one of the stories that
came out that i heard about just inadvertently was the tpp program or transpacific which a lotprogram of people have described as nafta on steroids. president obama has attempted to fast-track this through congress. host: is the trade agreement between the united states and european union? no, the pacific, china and although small asian countries. host: ok. caller: representative issa tried to bring it out. show said that
the only person in washington that is for this is president obama. it would actually centralized united states somewhat as an octopus. the arms would radiate out completely around the globe in every direction. that itdits are saying would be extremely bad for workers. there would be more outsourcing and of course that is all proved by what happened when nafta and those things actually happened. host: r, richard. i meant to leave it there. we would take this back up in our last hour of the "washington journal." we will return to top serve the year. coming up next, pulitzer prize winning author hedrick smith on his book "who stole the american dream? " we will be right back. ♪
>> i have been involved in politics for four years in one way or another. i worked in reagan's campaigns. the fact of the matter is, i have never seen so many people quoting and waving around the declaration of independence and the constitution. many of you 10 years ago never gave a second thought. now i bet it is at the front of your mind. it is with tens of millions of us. the fact of the matter is, tens of millions of us love this
country. we don't want it fundamentally transformed. we have to get to as many other people as we can, wake them up, educate them. the truth is and i'm not try to pat myself on the back, that is the purpose of this book. i consider it part of the purpose of my radio program as you number my brothers and sisters in broadcasting, which is why we are under attack of the time, these utopian statists. author,y, best selling lawyer, reagan administration official and radio personality are kleven will take your questions in depth. live a three hour starting at noon eastern. first sunday of every month on c-span2. radio personality mark levin. >> we are in the gallery of the light catcher building of the whatcom museum.
the purpose of the exhibition is to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the planets frozen frontiers, the alpine regions, the arctic and antarctica. this is a photograph of the greenland ice sheet by a german becker.olaf otto it is exhibited side-by-side with a photograph by camille of east greenland, it is from her last iceberg .eries of 2006 make people understand the importance of ice for the planet , it's reflective qualities that help regulate the climate, but many people are unaware that there is a collective consciousness in western culture about these regions and so it was important within the context of climate change to let people
know that these regions are fundamental to our identity. > errs more from the whatcom museum. look at the history and literary life of bellingham more, washington. sundayy on c-span2 and at five on c-span3. "washington journal" continues. year we are back on the interview with author hedrick smith. he is the author of "who stole the american dream? we talk with our readers about their story is for 2013. what is yours? guest: i'm interested in the story which of the biggest impact over time. i think probably the snowden leak story and the nsa will do that. you are to see washington in total turmoil, what to do about the nsa program. that has had a huge impact on washington and will play out in
2014. there are lots of others. gay-rights moved way forward this year. nine more states legalized same- sex marriage. supreme court knocked down the federal defense of marriage act. the syrian chemical weapons ban, nobody ever thought we would be able to ban chemical weapons in syria and stop that. that is amazing. the nuclear agreement with iran, temporary, lots of problems, but still a breakthrough. people have been working on it for a decade. that is a big story. government shutdown, of course were are interested in that because we are in washington are not really a very big story with long-term impact except the exposure of what each is had on the air a little while ago, john boehner saying are you kidding me? the right wing of the republican party is pushing the republican party in to trouble. to me, one of the biggest stories is a story that never gets a headline and that is the growing income inequality in america. i just saw some figures i came out. over the last decade, the 90% of
the american public saw their income go down 10%. and he presented people saw a decline in income over the last decade. the figures are not out for 2013, but the transept and continuing. at the same time the top 0.1% saw their income go up 70%. that is a story that is like grass growing. there is no day in which an event occurs and you can say well, look what happened. this is a trend that is been going on for 30 years. it is had an enormous impact on the american middle class and is going on today. corporate profits to the roof, stock market at record highs, 20 million people can't find full- time work. huge gap in america. the story of my book. recovery has not brought it back. host: who stole the american dream, who stole it? it is not six guys
sitting around with a plot to steal the american dream. it started back in the 1970s. there's a guy named luis paulo said on the supreme court. before that he was a corporate attorney. he saw the power of the middle- class movements, the civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women's movement, the environmental movement. all of them pushing washington policy to help the middle class. he said business, you're getting taken to the cleaners politically. you better get organized. that is exactly what they did. we have had a power shift over the last 30 or 40 years in america. in favor of business and elites. you can see it in the tax policies that helped the elites, the corporations. you can see it in the minimum wage policy which has not gone up, which is hurting people at the bottom. you can see the decline of the obama net, except for the administration's health-care. in the private sector you've seen a shift from an idea that
ceos had back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, that they should share the wealth, that the best further grow the economy is to pay a lot of middle-class workers well. if they get paid well and went out and shop at christmas time and thanksgiving on black friday, all year long, that drove the economy to growth. that was the secret of america's growth. wages,stagnate american ship jobs overseas, force people of good industrial jobs and working for walmart by retail store or for a fast food restaurant at lower wages, the middle class has less purchasing power and you don't have the engine to drive the economy. that is what happened to him both in the private sector and the public sector. you have policies from guys like alan greenspan with the federal reserve that didn't protect mortgage owners, didn't protect house owners. we lost $6 trillion. american homeowners last $6 trillion during the housing boom of the 90s and 2000.
why? because are being encouraged to take a more and more loans or second mortgages, refinance your home, get 100% financing and 70% of the home ownership in america back in 1988 was in the hands of homeowners. 30% in the hands of the bank. by the end of the lapse it was , 40%n that -- i'm sorry and heads of homeowners and 60% in the hands of banks. a 30% shift from homeowners to banks. $6 trillion lost money for middle-class people that is a tremendous loss of wealth. host: how to define the american dream, is it home ownership, what is it? guest: there are several themes of course. of rags to riches which is starting at the bottom and making it to the top. there aren't not that many who did that. yet the dream of the immigrants who come from greece, vietnam and other places. the basic middle-class dream, if
you go back to the 40s, 50s and 60s and 70s was a steady job, slow rising income over your lifetime as he got more experience, more skills, more value. enough money to buy your own home, a health benefit, a retirement benefit and the hope it your kids would do better than you would. home, job, protection against disaster and a better future for your kids. is a pretty simple basic dream for most middle-class americans. president obama's agenda over the last five years done anything to reverse what you write about in your book? the one thing that is change that significantly is obamacare. oft is the first expansion the social safety nets since medicare back in the 1960s, the first time the government has taken a step in 40 years to put more protections underneath the middle-class and underneath people who need help. from the disaster fever chronic cancer, or an accident
that causes summary trouble. high expense. that is the major change that has happened. the effort to rein in the banks with the financial control regulation is a pretty mixed picture. i would say that is the one thing that has been done that is big. a lot of people don't understand it. they don't actually understand that there are lots of benefits. just into being protected from an insurance company, canceling your insurance if you give serious disease or denying your insurance because you have a pre-existing condition, that is a huge change in the way insurance companies are going to operate trade is a big protection for anybody who feels healthy but doesn't know they are headed for disaster medically. host: where during the year in review here, but let's look ahead to 2014. what is on the agenda that you think needs to get done, get to revert was happened
over the last four decades? guest: one of the big things that need to get done is a decision on what to do at the national security agency as a result of the snowden leaks. i don't think there's any question the democrats are going to push on the issue of raising the minimum wage. raising the minimum wage is not just -- by the way, two thirds of the people who get paid minimum wage are women. they are mostly in the retail trade, some of them in the restaurant trade. it is not just raising the wage of those people who'd that has the effect of raising wages throughout the middle-class. that would be a big thing. whether or not the country is going to invest in its own competitiveness again, that is going to be a critical question. we do need to rebuild the aging warts and airports and railroads that we have very other countries, china, japan, singapore, you name them, all across europe that much more modern ports and railways and we do. we don't compete. u.s. chamber of commerce says we have lots of trillion dollars of growth because we have not
modernized our transportation infrastructure. we do bring more jobs back home from mexico and china. there are a whole lot of things we can do in the economic area. the question is, can you do it with a gridlocked congress? summerville, south carolina, a democratic caller named trudy is waiting to talk to. caller: good morning, happy new year. i am one of those lost children of the american society. my mom and dad, god blessed them, they were from the depression era. my dad was in world war ii. they scrimped and saved and they left me a good sum of money. unfortunately, i can't imagine it would be like to be left in this culture. ever so hard as a graphic designer.
we have lost american dream. we went to nafta. we give everything to the poor little chinese people. nothing and for then why we had to get involved in the middle east. ,ere's my angst, dick cheney the great american air force, we've been protected twin towers iraq11 and we ended up in .nd wasted our troops god help us. host: i meant to leave it there. a lot fresher talk about. guest: judy, let me say hello to itself to line up. my family lived long time to
feel a connection with you right over the air. i think what you are talking about is what a lot of people feel, which is an angst any concern that this country is somehow gone off-track in a lot of ways. there are people who are saying we are spending way too much on imperial spent too much on oversight. afghanistan, iraqi. why build bridges in kandahar? let's kill them in south carolina. -- let's build them in cap -- let's build them in south carolina. reflecting are something even broader, the feeling of being blocked, of not quite knowing where to go. a lot of people have lost faith in the government, lost faith in leadership. the polls show not only is there a low rating for president obama and congress, there is a terrible angst about the political system as a whole. roughly 60% of the people will say, in a poll that i saw just
recently, that america is declining and going downhill. you get this expressed in different ways. all is thises it sense that we have lost our way, that we do not have the same kind of strength and direction. that we do not have the sense of solidarity. much to america's today, divided by power, by money, and by ideology. there was a recent article that you probably had on the air that showed a pattern of red and blue and how different the policies were in each of those states, there was a real sense of division. fors a very difficult job leadership. for obama, as president, and other political leaders across the country. host: roneets in -- tweets in --
host: and then you have this tweet from peg -- i don't think so. in the first place, the problem is not excess labor, the problem is low wages. if you look at what has happened to middle-class workers in america over the last 30 years, from 1978 to 2011, adjusting for hourlyon, the median wage is exactly the same. in fact, it is just a shade lower. when you have people stagnating for 30 years, not making more money -- you can say that they kept up with the cost of food, gasoline, or clothing, but the big-ticket items, like health care, college education, going through the roof, middle-class families are borrowing to pay for the most important things in life, when they are that insecure they do not spend
money. 70% of what drives the american economy and gets rid of the excess labor is people being paid enough so that they can go out and spend and drive the economy. we have to get back to that. to changejust need taxes. we needed growth policy in this country. and an investment policy in the future. retraining, investing in domestic business, helping innovation. there are all kinds of incubation things that have been done and proposed. what happened to the higher education system? guest: it is being supported by a huge influx of people from overseas. our higher education system is still highly recognized by people in jordan, singapore, china and around the world. if you look at, for example, the number of engineering, math, or
science students, critical skill areas, roughly half of the graduates in america are coming from overseas. the institutions need to students in order to pay their faculty and costs. what is going on is we do not have the good and left system in our junior high schools and high schools to get enough americans well enough qualified to take more and more of those spaces. the problem is less and higher education than it is in the middle school and high school. when you look at the test scores , we do terribly. there are a few states that do well, like massachusetts and minnesota, but not many. every time someone tries to set some standards that are demanding that will keep us up with singapore, sweden, or france, or germany, or or australia, or canada, people resist it he does it is tough. they want to pay teachers more
money. they are not going to have a good education and will not be a globally competitive country. american hero tweets -- it does not make things more expensive. i am afraid i do not follow the logic. no, it does not make things more expensive. what it does is it generates demand. look at the last three or four years. we have had a very slow recovery. this is our third very slow recovery. each one is longer. back in the 1980s it would take us 18 months, 19 months to come out a recession. here we are, over five years, it is taking longer and longer and the reason is we do not have the
purchasing power. people are not going back to work. sitting on two dollar trillion in capital? they are not seeing the demand out there causing them to build more cars, refrigerators, bicycles, microwave ovens, and cell phones. that is the problem. demand is what is missing here. you matter of fact, when get high demand, the cost of goods tends to come down. we are talking about 2013, year in review, with pulitzer prize winning author hedrick smith. this, "the boring investor one in 2013." they won out over the people like hedge fund investors, with more complex strategies. guest: all i can tell you is that that is good news. the boring investor has been
taking it on the chin for a long time. sorry, i do not believe that, entirely. i wish that it were true. the tragedy is that we as average people are not good at investing. if you look at the results of the 401(k) plan, it is a disaster. the median? i bet you could not guess. $18,000. the median 401(k) balance for people in their 60's, on the verge of retirement, who have years, the system for 20 80 $5,000. now, people live 17 years on average if they retire at 65. $5,000 a year you will get from a kind of saving. it is nowhere near enough. the idea that we are smart enough -- that is what we got sold in the 1980s. do not let your boss set it up, do it yourself, you're smarter.
you are not. you are not as smart as the financial advisors. truly, the hedge fund guys did not do well and the average investor did well. if so, god bless, that is a great year for america, it will put more money in the hands of people. they will buy more cars, put more additions on their home. 3 million families in your last segment helped out by the obama administration's mortgage reduction and refinancing program. that is great news, 3 million families that did not get pushed out of their homes. once they are pushed out of their homes they are into job loss and all kinds of downward financial spiral's. saving 3 million families is not just for those people, but for the economy as a whole, a great gain. didhe average investor well, 401(k) did well, it is very important for 2014,
boasting better consumer purchasing power, with more corporate investment, equipment, hiring more workers, growth in the economy as a whole. there was a story this morning in "the wall street journal" about the president's retirement plan, helping 3 million homeowners, including the ones who owe more than their mortgages are worth, the people who are still so-called underwater. james, you are on the air. caller: i am a 64-year-old vietnam veteran and would really like to take my hat off to you this morning. to just here playing common .ense, common sense thank you, sir. i want to thank c-span. i waited all year long for clear views. clear facts.
statistics. thank you. thank you, dr. smith, for the truth. go take a look at that book, "who stole the american dream." you will find a lot more of it." my daughter used to work in memphis for united press many years ago, thank you for the call from tennessee. host: pat, dallas, texas, independent color, hello. your current speaker is doing a fantastic job. i think that the problem is income inequality. bush was president correct when he said economics was rude. ,ince then the middle-class many millions of americans have not been educated. you hear it on c-span every day.
people call in, they do not even think what they talked about. they listen to radio talkshow hosts, and they believe that. they call and they talk about losing our freedom, losing our freedom. america needs to be protected. but we need more jobs. just like the speaker said. we need more construction jobs. we need more manufacturing jobs. but the programs do not allow that. deficit is ok. it will not affect us right now. but we need to plan to help reduce in the future. if they were cut deficit today, we can grow the economy. china is growing. host: ok. interesting, the question of the deficit.
i have been talking around the country, particularly to colleges and state universities, and one of the big questions that people bring up, relating to what that woman was talking about, the extreme debt that they are going to carry out of college into their next life. they are paying higher and higher tuition. why? the state legislature is cutting the appropriations, going from states to universities. the universities have to make up for that by charging higher tuition. guess what? when you vote against raising taxes today, you pass on the deficit not in the future, but today you pass it onto the next generation in the form of higher tuition and student that. student debt today is one dollar trillion in america. that is crazy. these kids come out of college .ith an average debt of $26,000 they cannot afford to buy a car. they will start families later, they will buy homes later, they will have more trouble getting financing. this is a damaging thing for the country as a whole, not just
those kids. we are not thinking about it intelligently. we have all of this noise about not adding to the deficit, but we are adding to the deficit today by not dealing with it today and in some instances by raising taxes. these kids are stuck. their parents cannot afford to send them. fewer and fewer families can afford college. the next generation, they are the seed for america's competitiveness and growth in the decades ahead. why would you not invest in that? businesses do. they invest in their future. host: but it appears that there is a demand out there for this education, that these parents and students are going to these expensive schools and trying to pay for it. that they see the value in it. host: if you take a look at who is affording the expensive schools, by and large it is the top five percent of income earners. in america that is 50 million
people. but it is maybe the top five percent, 10%. and then you have scholarships, iiversities and scholarships, went to one of them, williams college, and i sat on the board of trustees and about or he percent of the kids there are on scholarship. it would not be possible for a lot of middle-class families, nevermind who are families, to afford a college like that. but there are lots of colleges are closing because they cannot sustain the enrollment. we have community colleges that are very important. all kinds of technical jobs, hospitals, engineering firms, architectural firms, they are crying out for students because the students cannot afford to come. there is a gap year. we see it in income. at the top level, yes, you see harvard, yell, stamford, prestigious universities like that jammed to overflowing with applicants, but you see others
early struggling and they are appealing to two very different parts of the population. is thatthe difficulty when you talk about america as if it were one great conglomerate where you could just average the numbers, you get a misleading picture. you and i, if we were sitting in a bar, we have an average income. if bill gates and warren buffett sat down with us, the average income would go up enormously, it would become so huge, but our income would not change at all. that is the problem with averaging. if you average the numbers it goes all the way down. the bottom 90%, i just gave you those numbers before, the bottom 90% of americans over the last decade saw their income go down on average. saw their income go up 71%. unless we address the fact of
two americas, we will continue to have slow growth and the kinds of problems we see in our economy today. >> we are talking with frederick hedrick smith, and author of multiple pieces. he is here with us for about another 30 minutes. keith, new orleans, republican caller, go ahead, you are on the air. >> good morning. happy new year to you all. she would i wish that get maybe a bit more specific when you get into these generalizations. class? the middle up to what? 50,000? 148,000? what is it? what are your numbers?
the numberst take that are used by the congressional budget office. they break the american population down, down the line. if you take a people making 70%, 210 million out of 310 million americans, the top one percent income starts, that is about $390,000 a year. i am are the numbers working on. working off of federal statistics, i am taking the kinds of numbers and analysis that the congressional budget office does. they do not call it the middle- class. they call it the middle gradient or the middle levels. they do not talk about the poor or the rich. of neutralnd sounding words, but you can read between the lines what they are talking about. those are their numbers and that is what i am talking about. host: "the fed policy has been
the main culprit in income disparity. too many dollars, a false economy. there is no question that the federal reserve had a big role in the mortgage blowup. alan greenspan was warned i some of his fellow board members that there was insufficient regulation of the mortgage market. one board member said in a memo to alan greenspan that it was like the wild west and the fed ,eeded to act as a sheriff particularly for mortgage loans being given by mortgage companies that were not banks, but the fed technically regulates banks. these people were pushing alan greenspan to do that and he would not do that. he lowered the interest rates way down to one percent, then he started jacking them up very quickly. people who had variable interest got reallyges
whipsawed. alan greenspan encouraged them to go into them. he actually encouraged subprime loans. he was behind a lot of the policies that led to a disaster for a lot of middle-class pop families. for those saved by obama's program, there were many who were not, and many of those were on the doorstep of the federal reserve and other regulators. this gentleman is absolutely right. >> this is the last year for ben bernanke. what do you make of his tenure? >> ben bernanke was a remarkable figure. number one, he missed the blowup when he came in. most people forget that. he was warned that the big banks were into the mortgage market, but he said that if the mortgage market had a problem, it was the loners out there and it would not affect the big banks, but he was wrong about that. in terms of stepping in after the -- after the disaster was over, he
really helped to save the financial system that was on the brink of a cliff. forward to janet yellen possibly becoming the federal reserve chief? >> it looks to me from what she said publicly, it is almost hard to know in advance, but it looks as though she will and he knew his policies, pretty much. number one, she has been part of them. she has been his number two, voting with ben bernanke on these things. number two, listening to her. she talks as if she is going to continue his policies. that has been to try to stimulate the economy to grow faster and eliminate what the fed can do. there are people who question whether the fed has loaned too much money, this gentleman said tarp money, from the big banks. maybe. but what has not been paid back and what is much less are the trillions and trillions of dollars that have gone to the big banks and almost zero interest from the fed.
charging even the federal government one percent to two percent, making money on the fed money, it does not make much sense. host: under what program? is called the fed's open window. it was open when banks were in trouble. it was trying to lubricate the economy, get the economy going again, protect the financial system. the question is now, do we still need to be doing that after the collapse? moving too fast can shrink things up. it is tricky. that is one of the things that he has left janet yellen to deal with. "the danger is when economic interests formalize into more wealth. oh guest: -- wealth. out guest: -- wealth." have seen this starting with jimmy carter, believe it or not, but then accelerating under ronald reagan
, making huge bush tax cuts for the wealthy. the wealthy turned around and pour the money into lobbying and into political spending. they have used that in order to promote policies, serving their economic interests. you have a self reinforcing cycle. in washington people tend to think of business and labor tom a corporations and trade unions as being equal forces in terms of lobbying expenses. guess how much business outspend labor? to one?, 5 to one, 20 no, 60 to one. guess who gets listened to on capitol hill. let me get your take on cover pageork times" story this morning. he has this piece --
guest: there is no question that power has been disbursed. look at the trouble that john boehner had all through 2013, with his own backbenchers. people call them the tea party, but it is an indication that leadership on capitol hill has a lot more difficulty today than it used to have in shepherding troops together. here you are talking about the part of committee chairmen in the senate, but it is the same kind of thing.
but i will say that the republicans have generally shown extremely good discipline. particularly in the senate, they have stuck very much with mitch mcconnell. it has been very difficult for the democrats, very difficult for president obama. the republicans have -- what is interesting is that olympia snowe in maine, susan collins, maine, both moderate, mainstream republicans, or george rate image from ohio, leaving the senate, when they told the line, it was amazing, they often did not agree with the policies but they were convinced that they had to show party loyalty. the parties of their have become almost tribal in their differences and the chasm that divides them. it is very difficult to get legislation through. there are so many different wickets to get through. bob dole was talking about -- if he knows he can control the wicket, i am the majority leader in the senate, we can get
business done. bob dole was a very pragmatic, very effective senate leader. baton rouge, louisiana, robert. caller: i had a question for mr. smith. be will government policy changed with big money from both parties? will it take more supreme court appointments to overturn and the money to speech decisions? comment, that's scary statistic that the top 400 people in the world have more than the bottom billion people, the american dream is linked to the rest of the world in terms of developing markets and pressures. please comment, thank you? guest: the walmart founding
family has more wealth in america than 120 million americans. we do not need to go overseas to see that. the political questions that you act were very -- asked were very important. we willrd to see how fix the economic problems in this country without political reform. political reform will almost certainly have to be the big money in politics. there is no question that there has been an explosion of financial expenditures. the cost of running for house seat has gone up 20 or 30 times in the last 20 years. we saw the first campaign spend more than a billion dollars. it is just staggering. when you get into independent expenditures you have karl rove, running the crossroads of america, trying to effect some seats in senate elections around the country, the amount of money, the system is awash in money and there is no question
that people are not spending it idly. they are counting on being able to talk to the folks that they helped to get elected once in office. they regard that as a good investment. the only way to deal with this is to somehow in some way match the funds of small donors, lots and lots of small donors, so if you give $100 or $200 to a candidate, you match that. in new york city they match that five to one. the taxpayers will give you a thousand dollars. in order to help the candidate to have trouble raising money get into a imperative race with the people who have lots of money. now, what is interesting with this, the current system has taken the competition out of american politics, by and large. not in the presidential races, but in a lot of the house races across the country. that is partly gerrymandering across the country. parties setting up safe
districts so that their candidates can win for sure. they do not want a tight, tough, competitive race. when that happens, voters turn off. voters in the middle, like yourself, turn off. why vote? it will be the extreme or right or extreme left. this is what happens when they get to washington, they cannot talk to each other. we need the independence, the moderates back in. we will need campaign financial reform, gerrymandering reform. i do not know what is going to happen to citizens united. 15 states have passed legislation or resolutions calling for the overturn of citizens united and calling for constitutional amendment that would empower congress to regulate campaign spending. i do not remember if people in louisiana are doing that, but they are doing it and lots of
states around the country, so it is something we are thinking about. host: we are speaking with hedrick smith, phillips are prize-winning author, his latest book is "who stole the american dream." the 1950s,in greenville, south carolina. worked for 20 six years for "the new york times," covering .everal issues he worked for pbs in 1989, creating many special primetime programs. .e has won emmys he is our guest here this morning. danville, kentucky, democratic caller, good morning. caller: i wanted to say i love the show. i have three things to ask this morning. why won't the government listen
and install a flat tax? especially on these richest people in the united states. giving equal share across-the- board? guest: well, it comes up periodically, if you mention it. -- talkingnt, tack taxes on capitol hill is almost impossible. they are not prepared to go anywhere. we could do a lot to reform the corporate tax code. we have companies that move operations and make profits anyone inore than america. why any country would do that is beyond me. it is an invitation to send them -- send jobs overseas. luckily, when these parties try to touch the budget or taxes, they get so
snarled they cannot move forward. past this next set of elections in 2014 and see if it is possible to have rational discussions on taxes, but at the moment it is a hot an issue. it is like the third rail on the subway. you do not ever touch it . that is the attitude of politicians in washington today. you cannot trust the third rail. to pushple want corporate tax reform, others want to push the flat tax. max baucus, the outgoing senate finance committee chairman, has an idea for changing corporate taxes, what he did not even get a chance to float it, he is moving onto another job and is probably happy to get out of there. host: the front page story from "the new york times" references senator baucus leaving and the next finance committee chairman not having as much clout or authority as the past committee chairman seven had over the
years. guest: that is probably true. it also takes time to accumulate that power. what happens is these committees 1962,lly start in around committee chairman have to get set with their members and they run that by bargaining a piece of legislation or another. they do favors for people on their committee and gradually begin to mold together majority where they can move forward. he has been mostly in the , the massivearea metadata collection program. moving over to finance is a new arena. he has been on the committee, but that is not what he is known for. he will have to build his image. part of that is personal, part of that is institutional change. >> new york, republican line -- mind new york, republican
-- republican line. david, good morning. caller: happy new year. host: happy new year. caller: something that is getting big and expensive, costing the american people who have no investments in their future except for social security, they have no union , as the federal government gets bigger and bigger they are taking more and more from me to that the federal government can create promises so that when i retire they will give me medical coverage, retirement, social security. to me, now it is very expensive and it does not give me much purchasing power, does not improve my credit rating, it will not get me a house or a car loan. things like this. me it seems very expensive and i am not getting a lot out
of it and it is costing and costing. if i wanted to go back to school to be a part of the middle-class tickets over $100,000 per year, again it will cost me -- i have to get new loans, go back to school, get into more debt. it does not seem that the federal government sorted it all out and fix the problem. the middle-class, there cannot be a $70,000 or $80,000 gap in the middle class. that is too large for me. it seems too large of a gap. guest: how old are you, david? caller: sorry, the --host: guest: sorry --host: sorry, did not realize you wanted to chat with him. his 50s ite is in
would not be far from medicare. about theresting federal government, some people at the university of cornell did a poll about three years or four years ago, he asked people whether or not they benefited from any federal government program and 96% of the people said they did not benefit from any single government program. then they went back and asked them a series of detailed question -- questions about federal programs and it turned out that 54% had benefited from two or more programs. a lot of people are benefiting, david may actually be one of them. a lot of people are benefiting and do not even know it. the famous comment during the debate over obamacare where the guy got up at a congressional town meeting and said -- i do not care what you do about legislation,n this but keep the government hands off my medicare. he did not even realize that it was a government program.
there is a lot of misinformation out there. if david went back to school -- i do not know his circumstances, but if he wanted to go back to school because he was thrown out of a job because of global competition, the government would in fact give him a scholarship and help to pay for his education for a year or two. he may qualify for a small business loan. if you wanted to qualify for a mortgage, he may have been able to refinance. , built of gets built in into the scenery, the landscape. the government is actually doing a lot more, coming through things that were discovered by the national institutes of health. we do not even think about it, but the technology, the computers that we use, they all came from an arm of the pentagon that is a government program.
of things that are in our economy and our lives that the government has done, but no one set up there and waved a flag. to it, there may be more david, and i wish you luck. i hope that you do not run out of work and have to go onto unemployment benefits. i hope that you make it to your social security and medicare, that is absolutely critical to tens of millions of americans today. host: paul is next from indianapolis. mr. smith, do you really think that increasing demand will decrease prices? that is just from your earlier talk. my main point, my main question, i think that the real problem is that we are trying to increase the wages for people who are not in value added jobs.
if you give a burger flipper $15 per hour instead of seven dollars $.50 per hour, his labor is not as worse. you have got to either reduce the profits by seven dollars and $.50 per hour, or you have got to increase the prices or some combination. the economy is not really helped by that. you can increase that person's productivity to the point where they are producing a next or $7.50 per hour and you can give that to him without hurting anyone, otherwise would you are doing is hurting the small businessman who is a franchisee of mcdonald's. you are not hurting warren buffett at all. not increasing debt burden by increasing the federal minimum wage, you're just hurting a successful small businessman who pays the minimum wage. host: let's get a response. guest: my comment about
increased demand and lowering is to say that they can lower the prices when they have the benefit of mass production. mass production generates more efficiency and therefore they can lower cost. if you're talking about a fancy mercedes-benz car, silk stockings or furs, yes, increased demand is like increasing price, but even then the price goes up. but let's talk about the minimum wage here. it is really interesting. everyone says, and this is a shibboleth that is repeated again and again, economic statistics do not bear it out even though it sounds simple, that if you increase the minimum wage, the theory is that unemployment will go up but so many businesses will not be able to afford to hire minimum wage. the job market will suffer. number one, there are all kinds
of economic studies that show that this is in fact not the case. if you take americans today, the state with one of the highest minimum wage incomes in the country is vermont. take a state with very low minimum wage, the federal minimum wage, like mississippi, they have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. there is no correlation between the minimum wage and the employment problem. it is repeated again and again. there is no question that some employers will not be able to make it. but the addition of the additional purchasing power across the board increases the purchasing power in the entire economy, which increases demand and pushes economic growth. that is why increasing the minimum wage is good for everyone overall. there are some people over the short term who will be hurt, that is true, but the effect is
totally unknown and to ignore the benefit to the economy as a whole is going to mislead people . it is done all the time, particularly by people in business who do not want to raise the minimum wage because it may cut down their salaries. it may leave less for the stockholders. last year, last year caterpillar had a net profit of $4.9 billion. the workers said that they were making so much money that they should be able to share some of the profits with them. you have made money all around the world, competing globally, i want to share in some of that. caterpillar's management said absolutely not, and they cause the wage freeze. that 4.9 billion dollars went to buy back stock in the company, which the effect of driving up the stock price and the company, leading to executive bonuses. that money could have been spent one way or another, 50-50
between the shareholders in the workers, but management said they wanted it all. that is the kind of managerial decision and business outlook that has dominated the market. but it hasniversal, dominated the american landscape for the last 10 to 15 years and is one of the reasons we are in a mess today. host: our unions the answer? we have this tweet -- the reason that we went down his manyfold. number one, many moved from the north, which was unionized, heavily unionized, and moved to the south, which was not unionized. went out of america, to mexico, to china. the workforce that is unionized
went down. some of it was delivered management tactics to prevent bargaining power. it is a question, whether or not the middle class can get a fair shake without a voice. individual people cannot bargain with their employers. people today are terrified of if they think something is wrong in their company, they are afraid they will get fired and not be able to find a new job. it is difficult to see how people will be better off without unionizing. what is interesting is to hear graduate students at major universities, teaching assistant saying that they are being paid very badly. we are not talking about harsh private sector aggressively political institutions, we are talking about educational institutions, students saying that they have not been paid their value and they figured out that they could not bargain
alone with their institutions. some institutions, like new york university, have as many as a thousand graduate students. that is a lot of people who have begun to organize. it is hard for people who are trained with college educations to join a union. people are starting to say -- listen, unless we have a voice to talk to our employers, debate and negotiate for better terms and conditions, there is a chance. it is interesting to see that happening with people who never would have seen that before. let's switch topics. you wrote a number one bestseller based on your years in moscow as a correspondent. what you think of the role of vladimir putin this year, edward snowden, the nsa leaks?
guest: i think vladimir putin has been a big disappointment. i wrote a story on perestroika. back then he was the go to guy for western businessmen. supposede guy who was to be modern. former kgb, he spoke german, had worked in east germany. many people thought that he had snuck into west germany and thought that he understood that russia could not compete unless they joined the world. is he going to be the kgb guy or the go to guy? more years he the has been in power, he has become more of the kgb guy. the number of killings of russian journalists under vladimir putin is just terrible. people have written exposés. the difficulties over there have risen over time.
so, it goes way beyond snowden. way beyond the obama administration trying to negotiate an arms agreement around the world. controlling the russians means you can affect the chinese, the rush -- the indians, maybe even the iranians. he has sort of gone back to that old soviet syndrome, you can have influence by making trouble. one exception stands out, the syrian chemical weapons agreement. he saw a chance there for himself and russia to have a positive influence by making a deal. and obama actually deserves a lot more credit for that than other people say. his threat to attack syria -- by the way, the launchers of the weapons systems, the chemical weapons systems, are based on the hill in damascus very near the home of bashir al-assad. fewer russians worried about whether he would survive, he
would not want american cruise missiles going into targets that were maybe a few miles from his home. an innocent deal that was made there. but vladimir putin did that and he deserves credit for that. the problems he will have with sochi, with the security and these bombings in the south of russia, not too far from the caucuses area, he has got a lot of problems there. classicust resorted to toughest boss. he is not a communist, which they were not so much communists, they were tough guys. from 2013, it has not been a good year for vladimir putin, but there have not been good
years for him. forid will -- did well himself by putting himself back in power, but that was a tragedy for russia. dmitry medvedev was a very different kind of guy, and -- open to the world, interested in economic reform, interested in fighting corruption, and then vladimir putin came back. could say that putin has done well because he is in power and has kept someone in power in the ukraine, but in terms of the future of russia i do not think that he offers much. they still have oil, they still have natural gas, but that is all they have to sell the world. and it is a much richer country than that in terms of its human palate. ella is next, democratic caller. caller: good morning, happy new year. host: good morning. have globalized industrialization, a problem the known as and -- no one is
addressing, globalized opportunities overseas, but we do not have globalized unionization. we can do this without trade policy. we should not be trading with a country like bangladesh. reasons that jobs go there is there are no minimum wage laws, no job labor laws. people are not allowed to collect their wages, like they do here. that is the reason we do not have a middle class. starting with clinton, a democratic president who sent .ur jobs down to mexico democratic and republican presidents both are not addressing this serious problem. there is no question that the problems of labor, environment, and other human rights issues are not being addressed and the issues important to business are being addressed, but you raise the larger point, which is that business has become globalized,
but the whole area of regulating business has not. it is not just labor unions. look at the tax situation. you have apple, microsoft, ge, ,ther major american countries even microsoft, hopscotching around the world, looking for a place with the lowest tax rate. some of them are even combining and letting themselves be bought out to get the irish, dutch, or luxembourg tax rate. it is interesting, global leaders are starting to take a look at this. the g 20, the largest industrial countries at their last meeting in st. petersburg, they said they need to address the issue of global taxation so that companies cannot shop around the world. it is going to take a while, but you are right, the companies, technology, with the click of a computer mouse they move money around the world much faster than people can figure
out how to organize a set of rules that might make it fair for everybody. andrew, texas, republican caller. caller: hello there. thank you for c-span. this is one of the most important channels. i wish you could get it out there and tell everyone even more. forgive me if i am asking a redundant question, but your title is "who stole america." who did steal the american dream? also, you have not said the words that are clear to me where what it is saying, the government is the solution. i am a reagan republican. government is the problem, not the solution. given that, what do you see? who is close to fixing this? guest: i think that businesses could do a lot to fix this by
paying their workers a lot more than they are paying them now. i just gave you an example of the billions in profits in 2012, the last year we have the figures for, with management imposing a wage freeze on workers rather than a profit- sharing program so that workers could share along with stockholders. no, i do not believe the government is the solution. a lot can be done and needs to be done in the private sector. there needs to be a lot more investment in manufacturing. are dyingwall street to invest in the american transportation system. ,oadways, highways, bridges they are not government guarantees. government seed money, they could do it with private money. if five percent of those jobs needed to be done by government,
that kind of combination would be sensible and is being done by all of our competitors around the world. germany has a much better relationship between the private sector and public sector. they do not see each other as enemies. guess what? i do this faster than the market has in the last 25 years. you would think -- by the way, american corporate leaders think that they would be out of business. wouldbig german companies not be anywhere. guess what? in the last decade, 2000 2010, we have had policies of keeping star,orporate rockets and -- stock markets from soaring through the roof. and then a two dollar trillion surplus, ensuring wealth with the workers. germany still has 21% of its workforce in manufacturing. we have nine percent.
manufacturing is the core of a modern economy. these are the best jobs for middle-class workers across the country in any country. and we lost that. we would have thought germany would have been in terrible shape, but they are not. they did better than americans today, exporting, keeping manufacturing jobs. lots can be done with the private sector. i spoke to a man who used to be the head of siemens and is now the head of all, and he was talking about the way that they collaborate in germany between the government and the private sector, between management and labor. --government it is anathema an america that is anathema. it is probably anathema to someone like you. but it has paid off. you should take a look at that and see if it would not be smart to take a look at those things. look at general motors and ford, they are now reinvesting in plants in america and they got
an agreement from the american auto workers union. those companies cut back on their feet after the recession and they promised to bring jobs back from mexico and china and the union said -- we will do that, we will hold the wages down if you bring the jobs back. collaboration can be done in the private sector. i think the private sector could and should do a lot. you -- in your book, you take a look at the last four decades. what research and how much research did you do for this book? an entire year reporting and researching and i did not write a word. i spent months writing the first four drafts. these are very difficult issues. this book's hat -- this book has over 1000 footnotes. it has a timeline, you can actually go through and look at
the decisions and when they were made. my editor said to me -- you have got to do a timeline. i said i was not just talking about events, i was talking about trends. these are trends. he said i would figure it out. so, i did it. i think it has been very useful. one of the other things he said to me was -- you are describing a very difficult situation. america is in a ditch. you have to get us out. i said -- hey, my job as a reporter is to call fouls and strikes. you make your own conclusions from it. he said -- no, this is a dismal picture, you have got to bring is a bright side. finally, i did it. my wife said i had to do it. the last couple of chapters about how we could get out of the ditch, i think we could, i think we can, i appreciated that about the private sector and
there is no question that the private sector does a lot, generating a lot of jobs, but so does the government and we need to admit those things on both sides. host: let's take a look at the 10 steps that you talk about in the book. pushing innovation, finds, high- tech research. people do not realize that we are losing our edge in research and development. one of the reasons the government seed money is not there, the gentleman talked about for the private sector does not do, they don't do it unless they see a quick return and it is long-term gains that give you the jump ahead of others. if you look at our long-term gains, we may, during world war ii, when the government research finance, they got all the dividends. we had radar, computers, all kinds of technology came from government investment.
the government does have to do something. and it is the stimulus that causes it to be invited in all kinds of fields. from health to technology to automobiles. make the u.s. tax code fairer. fix the corporate tax code. push china -- isguest: corporate tax code very important. corporations get about $1.2 trillion per year in loopholes. we had 70 or 80 of the major corporations in america, goldman sachs, general electric, pfizer, all kinds of different areas. i mentioned to drugs, finance, and general manufacturing paying zero taxes, even though they made multibillion dollars. that is because of the loopholes. one of the biggest loopholes was
moving production overseas, deducting the cost of production , but they do not pay taxes on it, bringing the profits back to america, lobbying washington for a low tax rate. that was the deal in 2005. companies see that, it is an incentive to move jobs overseas. why would we do that? why not lower the tax rate? listen to this, please, mr. business. .lose some of these loopholes we are penalizing companies doing business in america. that does not make sense, we should help them. but at least it should be the same tax rate as the ones that operate in america. it is a matter of being fair and being smart. number six on your 10 steps? pushing china to live up to fair trade. important, getting
the chinese to increase the value of their currency and stopping the human subsidies. people think the reasons that major american corporations are moving jobs to china is low that is what i thought when i started the research on this book. i read all whole lot of intel. he said i can get a billion dollars worth of subsidies from the chinese, build a new chip than inhina for less america. free land, electricity, roads, i get a tax holiday for 15 years, all kinds of benefits from the chinese that i do not get here. some of that is not legal under the world trade organization, but no american administration has been willing to take the chinese on. there are people in congress who want to do it. charlie schumer, lindsey graham
say this is crazy. it is crazy. fix housing, war on weapons. much the you know how wars in iraq and afghanistan have cost? figure is $1.5 trillion. and then you have the benefits of the families that we go to the families of those who served. somewhere between 3.5 trillion dollars and $4 trillion. can argue about whether or not it was a smart thing to do in defense terms. and we pay not a single penny of increased taxes for those wars. if we did that, we would not have a deficit problem in this country. we need to face up to the fact that a huge chunk of the deficit
is defense spending. mobilizing the middle-class is the toughest and most essential thing. i covered the civil rights movement in the 1960s. environmental movement and the women's movement, the consumers movement. middle-class movement moved to washington. americans today do not believe they have the power to change things. we do. we just have to make up our minds to do it. the longer we say they have got to fix it, washington or someone else, the longer it will take. now is the time. host: we will leave it there. his paper book is out, "who stole the american dream?" guest: i appreciate your interest. happy new year. we are going to take a
short break. when we come back, your top news picks for 2013. first, a news update. were this morning from a senior iranian nuclear negotiator that iran and world powers have a good progress in talks on how to implement an agreement on the country's nuclear program. a deputy foreign minister says some issues remain after experts from both sides met in geneva, adding those issues will likely be the focus of a meeting that could happen next week. an agreement with five members of the security council and terminate to curb its nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief. its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. this announcement from the pentagon press secretary john kirby.
he says the department of defense is transferring three prisoners from the facility in guantánamo bay to the government of slovakia. they are the last thing chinese uighurs to be transferred as a result of a court order from 2008. today, 155 detainees remain at guantanamo bay. the start of 2014 has begun. celebrants dancing and fireworks booming. new zealand ring in the new year with fireworks. more than 1.5 million people are on hand in sydney, australia and dubai. times square waiting its turn later today when supreme court justice sonia sotomayor are will press the button at 11:59 eastern time to set the globe in motion. those are some of the headlines.
>> moving extremely fast. my education expires after 10 years. everything is new. historically, we look at human life in four slices. i think we should be having all of these at the same time. we shouldn't learn and play and work at the same time. today, weoves so fast cannot afford to have a single set of education. eastern,efore 1:00 ceo's of technology companies on the future of higher education, robotics, and data. tv, kay bailey hutchison
on the women who helped to shape texas. three's american history tv, daughters of the civil rights movement share their memories at 8:30. >> c-span. we bring public affairs from washington to you, putting you in the room of briefings and conferences and offering complete coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. 34ated by the cable industry years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. now you can watch us in hd. welcome back. in our last hour on this december 31, 2013, we will be talking about the top news stories of the year.
republicans, (202) 585-3881. democrats, (202) 585-3880. all others, (202) 585-3882. you can also e-mail us. on the topr thoughts news stories of 2013. the associated press recently did a survey. said itse results, 26% was the 2010 health care law that was the top story of 2013, the rollout of healthcare.gov. eight percent said it was the death of nelson mandela. another eight percent said it was the government shutdown that lasted 16 days, the fiscal cliff, and sequestration. and six percent of those surveyed said it was the national debate over gun laws, mass shootings. four percent said the boston
"the washington times" this morning has a story about president obama's approval ratings, down to the path of unpopular ratings. what is your story of the year? is it president obama's presidency, his poll numbers? brian in ohio. democratic caller. mine goes to the underlying racial tone towards the president.
house's it about the reaction to anything the president puts out. a lot of it has been covered up as being something else, but when you dig down into it, it has a racial undertone. arizona., phoenix and, the 50thcaller: anniversary of the jfk assassination was pretty big this year. host: tim, collingswood, new jersey. happy new year. caller: happy new year to you, too. ofde from the two stories
eric snowden and bradley manning, everything else that has occurred has been interconnected, and that is because of money. if you follow the money, it will again, income inequality, corporate america, the top one percent. not want to do sound like a conspiracy theorist , i am just a working guy, but aside from snowden and bradley manning, the two guys who are ,atriots of the country everything else has had to
do with money. snowden appeared in a christmas message aired by a british television station. here is what he had to say. >> recently, we learned our
governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide surveillance, watching everything we do. george orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. the types of collection in the book, microphones, video cameras, tvs that much as, are nothing compared to what we have available today. we have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. think about what this means for the privacy of the average
person. will grow uptoday with no conception of privacy at all. what itl never know means to have a private moment to themselves, unrecorded, unanalyzed. that is a problem. by this he matters. time to see is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be. the conversation occurring today will determine the amount of
trust we can place both in the technologies that surround us, and the government that regulates it. together, we can find a better balance, and the mass surveillance, and remind the government, it really want to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying. edward snowden
released that christmas message to the british public. we are getting your thoughts on the top news stories of 2013. caller before says it was edward snowden who gets his pick. regina in oklahoma. good morning. caller: happy new year. my biggest story is what with senator ted cruz, mike lee, rand paul, even senator imhoff who stood on the floor of the senate, standing up
for me and those who understand the bondage of the insurance mandate that was forced under obamacare and their enthusiasm and hard work and dedication that spilled over to the house, to the point where they got involved for our rights to stop and defund this nightmare on the american people, and mr. harry reid decided to take his stand and let the government not , because heorder did not want to help us to unwind this maniacal mass that was put on us by what was done under my own congressman who is now dead, congressman john mercer, who was part of voting for this in pennsylvania, so thank you, senator ted cruz, mike lee, rand paul -- host: did you watch the senate
filibuster with ted cruz? i think we lost her. ted cruz, as one person commented earlier, about his senate floor speech, where he filibuster the affordable care act and went on to read "green eggs and ham." if you missed it, you can watch it on our video archives at www.c-span.org. we are talking about our top news stories of the year. tina in arlington, virginia. caller: i want to say this obama nominated chuck hagel to become secretary of defense, and although he party, thehis own republican party, voted against him. i would also like to say the hatred among some of the
republican party members is an indication of the hatred in america in general. in alexandria, virginia. democratic caller. agree with a few of the previous colors -- callers. the last callers and the one before. feeling that in , when all the technology and everything -- america needs to relax and understand that president obama is trying to do something for the country, and everything he tries to do is thwarted by the republicans. in a few years time, it will look bad for them.
have continued this process since clinton. they are apparently on steroids because of the technology. host: we are talking about your top six for new story of the year in 2013. here is the pew research center at with 13 data milestones. 51% of the public now favors same-sex marriage, while 42% are opposed. number two, a majority of americans now favor legalizing the use of marijuana. number three, a majority agrees the u.s. should mind its own business internationally, the highest measure in a half- century off polling. list,mber four on their americans say they do not want their own representatives in congress reelected, 38%, at its
highest point in two decades. marcus in jacksonville, florida. i am happy to say that i'm a strong supporter of marco rubio. he is one of the best in understanding the notion that his success in capitalism and the united states and the greaterment of our liberty and culture and understanding, that the modernnation, to success of our government and , and hedential freedoms is the number one senator that i support in my life. host: gregory in pennsylvania. republican caller. 2013?s your top pick for opinion, theof the
future will consider 2013 as the epiphany of audacity. i think john boehner hit it when he said we have been running consistent deficits for the two years. -- 50 years. this country has done just about everything for the people in this country. now people are beginning to realize they have to cope with necessity. is, youh of the matter do not waste, you do not want. that brings me to my opening statement, that 2013 will eventually be recognized as the audacity reached its enemy. are getting your news story of the year as we wind down 2013. here is a tweet from one of our viewers.
in no particular order, boston bombing, shut down, snowden-nsa, serious of the war, bungled health care site, iran negotiations. president obama taking responsibility for the rollout of healthcare.gov. understand why folks are frustrated. i would be, too. sometimes, people look at what is taking place in washington and they say not enough is getting done that helps me with my life. regardless of what congress does, ultimately, i am the president of the united states, and they expect me to do something about it. in terms of how i intend to approach it, i will keep working as hard as i can around the priorities that the american people care about.
it is legitimate for them to expect me to win back some credibility on this health-care on an particular, and whole range of these issues in general. that is on me. we fumbled the rollout on this health-care law. president obama in november of this year talking about the rollout, the taking accountability for it, saying his credibility has suffered for it. is that your story for 2013? that story, likely to continue into 2014, with the debate back and forth between republicans .nd democrats nancy pelosi, the minority leader, tweeted this out yesterday. or than one million americans have found the coverage they need thanks to aca.
see what that security means to them. that is from the minority leader in the house. speaker of thehe house, tweeting about the health-care law and its impact about 2014. tomorrow is when these health- care plans kick in and everyone will see how they are working. if you have signed up, tomorrow is your first day to use it. house speaker tweeting this out. gears taxes and penalties could spark more trouble. democratic caller. what is your 2013 top story? i would say snowden more than anything else. the reason why his popularity has gone down, as you showed, talking about bumbling the health-care law. side, from a progressive and he did not consider a
single-payer system like the rest of the industrialized world has. it would be so much easier. i am also against the drone more affairs, civil liberties issues, warrantless wiretapping, one case after another. host: you are a democrat? caller: yes, with a small d. -- i am sorry, there is no left in this country. other than bernie sanders and dennis kucinich -- they always say the extreme left and extreme right. there is no extreme left in congress. they are all bought and paid by operations and wall street. 100 million from corporate donations and wall street? financialave
--ulations or public options public financing, nothing will change in this country. thank you. host: jamie in florida. independent caller. caller: to me, the top story would be the holocaust. i just want to scream. for our government -- this is why i hate america. our government is pressuring israel to let hundreds of prisoners out. 104 jews have died. would we like another country to come over here and say, let the terrorists who killed the people in the twin towers to go free? what right do we have? i would say this is a holocaust. nobody is speaking of.
out left 26 prisoners again. now they are going to leave more out. il in connecticut. caller: i think the top story is around the minimum wage. is that you raise the minimum wage, but you actually lose jobs versus create them. you make it so expensive for small businesses to hold the people, then they do not hold anyone. isn't it a matter of jobs lost versus jobs gained? host: so what do you make of efforts on capitol hill to raise the minimum wage by democrats? caller: i do not think they should be doing it. i think minimum wage jobs are for people starting in the industry. i took one, i worked one. i worked many.
i think you work your way up. host: linda in illinois, democratic caller. caller: i am calling about medicare. i think that is the best thing that ever happened to this country. it is going to protect the people that have insurance, or those who do not. it just happened to my daughter. she changed jobs and insurance. it was about three weeks, so she had cobra. her daughter broke her arm. after three weeks she had new insurance. now they are trying to tell her that she did not have insurance. good thing she had all of her paperwork, so she could tell them that they had it. they just tried to deny her insurance.
that is the biggest scandal in this country. 60% of the people in this country have insurance and go into bankruptcy. should look atca , what theseg on insurance companies are doing to the country. they are robbing the country and putting people into early graves. president obama's health care is the best thing that has happened, not only now, but if the years. -- 50 years. we are 50 years behind any other country. take we are getting your on the top stories of 2013. msnbc came out with their top lyrical stories. number 10 on the list, irs and the benghazi political controversy. no two stories inherited more conversation.
number nine, gun legislation is blocked in the senate. number eight, the blowsy oh wins in new york. a democrat who decry the income inequality during the bloomberg gears. number seven, chris christie cruises two reelection. eight, terry mcauliffe wins in virginia in the governor's race. number five, the immigration bill passes the senate but stalled in the house. number four on the list, the showdown over serious's chemical weapons. number three, snowden's nsa leaks. number two was the government shutdown. number one on their list, the botched health-care rollout. russ in minnesota. my topic is the band-aid
that has been included in obamacare to tell employers what they must include in their , even though it goes against their faith and what .hey believe in i believe that is stepping over the line, having the government mandate something like that. we will keep taking your thoughts on the top news stories in 2013. in other news, "the washington times" has this headline.
"the arizona republic" this morning, their front page, noting that arizona is passed over as a site for drone testing. these six states chosen to test unmanned aerial aircraft in u.s. airspace and two senators tweeting out from north to code about their state being chosen -- dakota about their state being chosen. after meeting with top officials and advocating for selection, thrilled grand forks has been picked. senator hoven from north dakota sending this out. chosenhted grand forks as a national test site. our amendment created the site has beengrand forks chosen. steny hoyer from maryland tweeted out yesterday -- selected as a test site will
spur job creation in our region. joe in pennsylvania. independent caller. what is your top new story for 2013? good morning to you. i am very troubled because i am a senior, 71. of course, a lot of history has gone down the line. all of have touched on the things that are disturbing in one way or another. i am a conservative at heart, but as far as equality, i happen to be home listening to oprah winfrey. newsad given some regarding president obama and
the color of his skin and that there are people against him because he is black. countrylike to see the balanced more on inequality. when we talk about our president, we need to talk about the office. issident obama, to me, inapt. he is not doing his job. he just happens to be black. but the opportunity that people should have is what i am all for. communities,black they want more, and part of that is all the years that they have not had anything. i say, you give any american inequality. give them the opportunity. they do not take advantage of the opportunity, fine.
a final note. it is quite obvious what happens when you let the democrats run or the republicans run, and that is why i have switched from a republican to an independent vote. when someone says to me, an american citizen, if you want to know what is in the bill, you .ill have to go for it we have a lot of people in washington that are like children, and it is a reminder to me that i had three kids to .aise they strike me as very controlled people. a final note, the person that called earlier about how much money influences how people are bought and sold. fine. no matter how big the problems are, sooner or later, somebody
in connecticut, guns considered assault weapons, large capacity, not registered with state authorities will be considered illegal contraband. also on immigration -- your pick for new story of the year. richard in irvington, new jersey. democratic caller. i am calling about obamacare. i think that is one of the best things happening to america. i hear a lot of people calling in saying they do not like obamacare, but they do not benefit from it. i do not know why they say these things. mostly red states.
they are sending less money to the federal government and they get more back and they complain. they get on the big money and the black people get the kernels. obamacare is the law. congress has done everything they can do to block anything that obama puts on the table. obama is trying to help people. tell everyoneple they do not like obama, but he is trying to help them. host: their front page of "usa those has the story about bombing attacks. the article says western officials warned russian
officials that by putting so much security around sochi and that perimeter, they had exposed themselves and made themselves vulnerable to this type of attack. in "the wall street journal" also on this -- also, "the wall street journal" notes that they spent $50 million to stage the olympics. a deputy spokesperson at the state department was asked about the recent bombings in russia and what they mean for america's -- americans planning to attend the olympic games. strongestemn in the terms the attacks in volgograd. we stand in solidarity with the russian people against terrorism
of any kind. in terms of security for sochi, americans planning to attend should remain alert. our security experts have said that criminal activity is similar to other cities of comparable size. major events such as the olympic games are an opportunity for the use and others who want to cause mischief. should also be reminded that threats have been made against the olympic games and accept terrorism continue to occur in russia. exciting,viously an positive sporting event, but people going there need to maintain vigilance and watch out for their own security and safety. our diplomatic security personnel has been working with the russians for many months on many issues. also provide u.s. citizen services to folks traveling there. we are ready to support in any way we can to help with the security situation. departmenttate
talking about the bombings in russia and the impact it could have on those attending the olympics. we are getting your thoughts on the top stories of 2013 in the last hours of today's "washington journal." republican caller. benghazi is on the list because our secretary of state got four americans killed and no responsibility. did not even come out and speak. went there to run for president of the united states. she could get a lot of people killed and not have any kind of accountability. the second is the irs. they are totally out of control. they do anything they want and they are accountable to no one. i think some of the callers are totally correct. it is money running the country.
term limits. no matter how good or bad. term limits for the people in washington would solve a lot of that. -- i will notging be a republican any longer. i will be an independent. you brought up hillary clinton. she testified in january this year about what happened in benghazi. take a look at her testimony, answering a question from senator ron johnson, a republican from wisconsin. >> again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that. ascertained that that was not the fact. the american people could have known that within days. respect, theue fact is, we have four dead americans. was it because of a protest or guys out for a walk deciding they want to kill americans. what difference at this point doesn't make? our job is to you got what
happened and to prevent it from happening again, senator. statethen secretary of hillary clinton testifying to what happened in libya. " and "thengton times new york times" wearing of this morning about reporting in benghazi. here is the front page of "the washington times." "the new york times" editorial page weighs in at about the reporting done over the weekend. this is what they say in their editorials. they say the facts are clear.
this is what the editorial board had to say about that. a member of the house intelligence committee, a democrat from california, sent out a tweet yesterday talking about the stories and the conservative publications that have been critical of the "new york times" reporting. here is one of three of them that he sent out yesterday, talking about the "new york times reporting. while some may have had ties to al qaeda or inspired by hatred to the west, others without such
connection were involved. a member of the intelligence committee tweeting this out. had that to say about this back and forth over details of what happened in benghazi in 2011. paul gosar of arizona tweeted out, according to witnesses, recent claims about the terrorist attack in benghazi are false. terry in west virginia. what is your top 84 2013? i am sorry. i will move on since we just cut you in. north carolina, independent caller. thank you very much. . love what c-span does
i have to say, the greatest question has not been addressed in this country. let me say, iran, syria, gay rights, income declined, these things are very important, but nasa is probably the biggest mistake ever made. biggest is the moving of american wealth to wall things like -- pensions that people use to be able to depend on, the nuclear , should be the major
subject of american news today. anyone could destroy a nuclear plant in the usa and destroy our lives for eternity. host: ok, on the front page of "the wall street journal" -- that is their winner four 2013. we are talking about your top picks -- top news story picks for 2013. republicans, (202) 585-3881. .emocrats, (202) 585-3880 independence and all others, (202) 585-3882. also on the front page of the washington journal is a headline
about afghanistan. the u.s. waiting for hamid karzai to sign a security pact that would allow u.s. troops, nato troops to stay in the country, and would clear the way for billions in aid for the impoverished country. take a look at the picture on the front page on some children standing in the snow with the headline, as the year turns, no sign of a thaw in u.s.-afghan relations. bob in baton rouge, louisiana. republican caller. caller: how are you? you will never see this in the , what i woulde , things ine on most 2013, but it is the rico act.
people who do not know what the rico act is, it is people who , or know thate when a crime is going to be committed, is subject to the rico act. ande are many politicians that know all the crimes that obama has committed, but none of them have ever said anything about it. they are all subject to be committed to jail. kim in michigan, independent caller. caller: i appreciate you taking my call. as far as i'm concerned, the story of the year is the overreaching, total disregard of
the constitution by the obama administration. , all they do is lie to congress. eric holder was the only attorney general we had in the history of the country that was held in contempt of congress. nothing was done about that. he should've been run out of office or fired immediately. obama's blatant lies to america about the health care thing, and numerous other things. these are very dangerous people we have elected. administrationa much more than al qaeda. as far as i am concerned, that is a new story, perhaps of the century, because of their total disregard. this country is slowly -- democracy is going away. this country is no longer a democracy. and it happened in five years. host: what do you think about
the government shutdown, was that a good move by republicans in protest of the affordable care act? democrat,was raised a became republican, now think of myself as independent. as far as the government shutdown, that with ted cruz. i cannot say it was good or bad. it was an attention getting device for him for his potential run for presidency in the next election. i do not honestly know if it is good or bad. it has been a blame game by both sides. that is why i became an independent. host: what is your take on the tea party? caller: they are what they are. thingsthey do not divide worse than they already are. the potential is there for that. i do not really think they are going to have a whole lot of influence.
i have been to a couple of tea party meetings. i was not really impressed. it is not something i adhere to. i think of myself now much more as an independent. raised a democrat, became republican. i do not have a whole lot of use for either side, but certainly not for the democrats in there now, power grabbing, overregulation by the epa, sebelius is dangerous. host: the government shutdown makes the number two biggest , the liststory by nbc they have put together. earlier this month, house speaker john boehner blame the extreme right wing groups or the government shutdown and said they have no credibility. frankly, i think they are misleading their followers. i think they are pushing our members in places where they do not want to be. frankly, i just think they have
lost all credibility. this fight us into to defund obamacare and shut down the government. most of you know, my members know, that was not the strategy i had in mind. but if you recall, the day before the government reopened, one of the groups stood up and said, we never really thought it would work. are you kidding me?! they said, you all know me. i say what i mean and i mean what i say. i am as conservative as anyone around this place. all the things that we have done over the three years i have been anyker have not violated conservative principles, not one. house speaker john boehner speaking earlier this month about the government shutdown, the impact it has had, the right wing groups behind it.
is that your top story for 2013? shelley in long beach, new york. the credit caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i cannot believe some of the things that are being said. first it was obama was not born here. and when they say here, they do not mean this country, they mean here, this planet. inept.is it is very difficult. i would have frame the whole thing differently had i been on his staff, before going on to the american people. people calling about their civil liberties, freedom of speech, are you kidding?
it is your civil liberties and freedom of speech, they are being impaired in any way? i want to ask all of these casting ourng, first biracial president, why was a sitting senator allowed to born, but bornso in a different country. he is an american. barack obama was born in hawaii. look at when hawaii became a state. his mother was born in kansas or somewhere in the midwest. host: sergio in texas. caller: i just wanted to make a comment about the biggest new of the u.s. and the world, i believe is the killing of christians by muslims, especially in egypt.
what happened over christmas. i think the militant wing of the muslim groups, it is their desire to kill christians. that is a store that is not brought up here in the u.s. because people tend to get offended, or they do not want to offend the politically correct crowd. that is one of the big stories that is not mentioned. host: another headline from 2013 was the two-year budget deal the democrats and republicans were able to agree to. part of that deal is cutting vets whofor younger are still working. that is the front page of "the washington post" this morning.
long decades in retirement. roy in marion, north carolina. what is your top story of 2013? caller: hands-down down, the boston marathon bombing. that was the filthiest atrocity in the history of the world. were are negative brothers merely that placers of the explosives. they had $1 million of aid and support three years before april 15. they were driving a new mercedes-benz suv. they were traveling all over the world. they were caught with over $100,000 of guns and explosives. it was the nra and the tea party that really pulled that off. boys, theyd those paid for them, they got them to murder those three good kids who es bysmeared as druggi
spreading pot on them. they murder those boys so that the tea party and the nra would have them by the scruff of the neck. the boston bombing topped the list of the "wall street journal" list of year in review. mary in gulfport, mississippi. democratic caller. what is your pick for 2013? caller: thank you for accepting my call. the reason i am calling, i have listened to have president obama has been criticized. when he ran for president, his platform was very beautiful. he had a beautiful platform.
i believe the people that are against him, the day he started running and speaking, they started working against him. if they had worked with him, this would be a beautiful country, everything would be going smoothly, but they have had nothing but nasty thoughts about him since he became president. the final will be word on the top news story of thisas we say goodbye to edition of "washington journal." happy new year. see you back here tomorrow morning for more of your calls and thoughts. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >>
>> it is new year's eve and thanks for joining us. >> a lot of things have happened. the 500ial decline from down to the 200 range dropped over about a 10 year period and was the burning out of the crack cocaine epidemic. that was a 20 year run of sheer hell. the violence associated with crack cocaine markets. we had 200 open air markets in the city. we would have drive-bys and six or seven people would be killed in a single incident. we dropped down from the high 400s down to the 200